Assistant Editor for Washingtonian Magazine
Wheaton English department graduate Caroline Ryan Cunningham ’13 knows how to throw a wedding—with style.
Cunningham, who lives a few miles outside of Washington, D.C., works as assistant fashion editor for Washingtonian Magazine as well as assistant editor for Washingtonian Bride & Groom. She writes for Washingtonian's style and shopping blog and its wedding blog, manages certain social media handles, contributes to the monthly lifestyle section of the print magazine, and compiles the bridal magazine twice a year with the wedding editor. This involves calling in products for bridal photo shoots, working on set, brainstorming story concepts, writing, and photo sourcing.
After graduating with an English major, concentration in writing, and a minor in music, Cunningham interned for a summer at Cincinnati Magazine while working for the Curtis Zimmerman Group, first part time then as content marketing manager. She then became a full-time intern at Washingtonian before she was hired as an assistant editor.
As Cunningham discovered, working as a student and as a professional have much in common.
“You show up. You work hard. You study the subject (or industry) you're in. You're rewarded for speaking up and voicing your opinions. You humbly ask for help when you need it,” said Cunningham. “I was interested to find that all the life skills you develop in college are just as relevant afterwards.”
What did Wheaton College’s English Department teach her?
“How to take criticism,” said Cunningham. “Being young in your career, you are always surrounded by those who are smarter and more experienced, and you'd be foolish to think that their opinion of your work doesn't matter. The writing workshops I took my senior year—by far my favorite part of my experiences in the English department—required I sit silently while those around me tore apart my work. It was a little painful at times, but it prepared me for life outside of college where they really don't (and shouldn't) care about whether they hurt your feelings in regards to your writing.”
Cunningham remembers English classes fondly—especially those with Professor Mazzarella.
“Every class [with Mazzarella] was eye opening, not to mention just incredibly pleasant…I wish I could've taken ten more classes with her.”
When asked what advice she had for those considering an English major, Cunningham said, “My husband is in graduate school for architecture now, but he graduated from Wheaton with a degree in English. Whenever anyone asks why he got a degree in English when he wanted to study architecture, he always says, ‘Because the English department had the best professors.’ I stand by that opinion. Wheaton's English department is its best department where you are going to learn from some of the most experienced, well-spoken, intelligent individuals on campus who will not only teach you how to read and write but [also] how to communicate.”